Chef John’s Apple Dumplings – Food Wishes

Chef John’s Apple Dumplings – Food Wishes

February 8, 2020 100 By Luis Garrison


hello this is chef john from food wishes
comma with apple dumplings that’s right I am very excited to be showing you one
of America’s oldest desserts which I love everything about except the name
since when I think of dumplings I don’t think of something like this okay what
this really should be called is baked whole apple pie ball but anyway is too
late to change the name now so we will just stick with apple dumplings and to
get started the first thing we’re going to do is make a very simple sauce as in
three ingredients simple and those will be some brown sugar some butter and a
splash of nice cold fresh water and what we’ll do is bring that up to a boil
stirring occasionally over medium-high heat and the reason I’m using a ladle is
that eventually this stuff’s going to get labeled over our apples before they
go in the oven but anyway like I said we’ll go ahead and bring that up to a
boil and as soon as that’s boiling and we’re sure all that sugars been
dissolved we can go ahead and turn off the heat and reserve it until needed
and as I carefully swirl this around I can see that my sauce is clear and
there’s no sugar at the bottom so we’ll simply turn that off and that is now
ready to ladle over our apples and then once that set we can move on to make a
little bit of cinnamon sugar which not surprisingly is made by stirring some
cinnamon into sugar oh and by the way as I stir this let me ask you when was the
last time you had a nice piece of cinnamon toast that was one of my
favorite things ever and then once that’s mixed we can move on to prep our
apples and by prep I simply mean core which is super easy to do if you have
one of these apple cores but if you don’t you can do the same thing with a
small thin pointy knife just be careful oh and as far as the Apple varieties go
personally I think a Honey Crisp apple works best for this but something like a
Granny Smith would also work beautifully so that choice is going to be up to you
I mean you are after all the king of your Apple Dumpling and as long as your
highness chooses a baking variety this is gonna work fine and then besides
cording this will also want to check for little stickers since that is not
something you want to bake into your Apple dumpling and that’s it once our
apples are prepped we can move on to rolling out some pie dough and what I
have here is half a batch of our butter crust dough which I’ve divided in half
sin we’re doing two okay so if you’re
keeping score at home one full batch of butter crust should give you enough
dough to make four of these apple dumplings and then what we’ll do is form
that into a disk and then using just enough flour so it doesn’t stick we will
roll that out to about an eighth of an inch thick which is gonna make it about
seven inches across but forget that measurement the bottom line here is we
need enough dough to wrap our Apple completely so depending on the size of
your Apple you might have to adjust and sure I was kind of sort of trying to get
it round which I really didn’t not even close but it really doesn’t matter as
long as we’re able to wrap our Apple and then what we’ll do once our pie dough is
rolled out is place our Apple right in the center and then we will take our
cinnamon sugar and we’ll go ahead and spoon in about three teaspoons or so and
then once that’s been transferred in we’ll go ahead and plug that hole with a
nice chunk of butter or as my British friends call it a knob of butter which
is never not amusing and then once our apples been cinnamon sugar and buttered
we will go ahead and bring up our sides of dough wrapping that as evenly as we
can and one huge tip here make sure you’re doing this with enough dough okay
we do not want to stretch and pull this dough too tight otherwise once it bakes
it’s going to contract and fall apart so no excessive pulling and stretching
please and wherever that dough pleats and we have extra what we’ll do is just
simply press that with our palms that kind of even it out so that one area is
in super super thick and another area is in super thin and if everything goes
according to plan we’re gonna have enough to seal everything at the top by
simply pressing it all together like you see me doing here and if we do end up
with a little excess on the top we will simply trim that off and then use that
if we want for one optional step and that would be to roll those trimmings
out nice and thin and make a few leaves with which to decorate our dumpling I
mean do you want an undecorated dumpling I don’t so I went ahead and roll that
out nice and thin and then use my knife to cut out three leaf shapes or at least
something remotely close to a leaf and then using the edge of our knife we can
make one line in the middle and then on either side of that we’ll make some
little lines like at a 45 degree angle to give it that classic leaf look and by
the way we’re just making marks do not cut all the way through
and that’s it to attach these well just brush or rub a little bit of water on
the surface and those leaves are gonna stick out nicely so I did three leaves
all together and then I made a little depression in the center since I still
had enough dough left over to make a stem oh and one more tip for you do not
spend too much time on this stem okay since once these bake it ends up being
virtually unidentifiable but anyway once you’re happy with your design we can go
ahead and transfer that into a lightly buttered baking dish and then I really
wish I would have taken my own advice and not worried about the stem because I
wasn’t really happy with how it looked so I pulled it out and reshaped it and
made it much much worse but anyway moving along I went ahead and made one
more dumpling and as you can see I spent a little more time on the leaves and
then what we’ll do once all our dumplings have been placed in the dish
is go ahead and ladle over our sauce making sure the surface of each dumpling
is completely coated and yes it might seem like that sauce is a little thin
but that’s okay because that’s gonna thicken up as his bakes so we don’t want
to start off with it thick and that’s it once sauce these are ready to transfer
into the center of a 375 degree oven for about 50 to 60 minutes or until our
pastry is cooked and beautifully browned and our apples are tender and while
those are baking it is not a bad idea to give them a couple basting zhh with the
sauce which I’m doing here after about a half hour and by the way feel free to do
this while they’re in the oven all right just open the door and pull
out the rack and give them a quick baste and pop them back in okay I’m just doing
them here on the table because it’s easier to film but the point is you’re
gonna want to baste these a couple times while they bake but anyway basting aside
like I said we’ll bake these for about an hour total or until they look like
this actually let me rephrase that or until one of them looks like this so yes
as you can see one of these completely exploded and that’s because of one
reason and one reason only it’s because I didn’t have quite enough dough so when
I wrapped that when I pulled and stretched it too tight so this is what
we call in the recipe video business a teaching moment but regardless of their
appearance sieze come out we’ll ladle over some
more of that sauce which is gonna make that crust even shinier and more
beautiful unless of course it exploded like mine so anyway that was unfortunate
and what made me feel even worse is the one on the right was the one I made for
Michelle so that was a bummer but anyway on the bright side mine was fine so I
went ahead and plate it up while it was still warm
and you should have plenty of that sauce so we’ll be sure to spoon some more over
and then I highly recommend this gets served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
oh and I should mention this is one of the few rare dishes I know that we serve
with a spoon and a steak knife but anyway once I was properly garnished I
grabbed that spoon a knife and went in for the official taste in catastrophic
ruptures to the other one aside this really is an amazing thing to eat all
right the flavor profile is almost identical to an apple pie but instead of
having a bunch of slices of Apple we have one beautifully roasted tender
sweet apple inside which while covered in the same cross we use for a pie is
far superior because we basted it and baked it with that sugar sauce so you
know on a regular pie those edges of the crust that gets soaked with those surbhi
juices and they’re extra sticky and crunchy and caramelized and amazing
that’s what all this crust is like oh and by the way a whole apple is a big
portion so I think you can easily serve two people from one dumpling so I’m just
gonna go ahead and eat half of this and then I’ll save the rest for Michelle
since that one I made for her didn’t work out and of course I’m half kidding
here about giving her half I didn’t film it but if you transferred that exploded
Apple a new bowl and then just simply place those pieces of fractured crust
over the top and put a scoop of ice cream next to it you really would be
experiencing pretty much the same thing just in a much much more unattractive
form so use plenty of dough and do not stretch and pull it too thin but anyway
that’s it what they call apple dumplings even
though what they really should call these his whole baked apple pie balls
but no matter what you call them they’re truly amazing which is why I really do
hope you give them a try soon so please follow the links below for the
ingredient amounts a printable written recipe and much more info as usual and
as always enjoy you